Senate committee approves North Korea sanctions bill

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved legislation to tighten sanctions against North Korea following its latest nuclear test explosion.

The bipartisan North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act expands on legislation that passed the House two weeks ago, which aims to deny Pyongyang hard currency for its weapons programs.

Republican committee chairman Sen. Bob Corker said Thursday the bill is expected to go to the Senate floor in the second week of February.

The legislation would have to be approved by both chambers of Congress to go to President Barack Obama's desk.

Among its measures, the bill targets Pyongyang's trade in key industrial commodities.

The U.N. Security Council also is deliberating how to punish Pyongyang for its Jan. 6 nuclear test.